Originally Posted by UUMom
Hold on there, Nellie! You've touched upon an urban legend here. The belief by many non hsers that hsing families are not a part of their community, or that they are the sole providers of experiences for their children is patently false! ...
I offer this information not to debate hs Vs school, but to point out this belief is rooted in fantasy. We can't have a good conversation if beliefs that are rooted in myth are pesented as truth, kwim?
I'm only presenting my beliefs, not laying any claims to truth or myth or urban legend.
I am certain that homeschoolers are part of a community since learning in isolation would be a pretty lonesome task. And I know full well that learning can and does happen in many places and that there are many communities that one could belong to.
What I said was that I like the *institution* of school and the community of learning that belongs to it.
To me, formal education is kind of like organized religion. People can hold deep spiritual beliefs and never once enter a church (or synagogue or temple or other place of worship), just like you can be engaged in learning and never enter a school. But for me, I value the institution as well as the underlying purpose. I love the smell of the incense, the taste of the wine, the art on the walls, the beautiful organ music, the robes, the solemnity, the liturgy, the coffee hour, the social events... I love it all. And I think it's part of the package of religion - it supports it in a positive way.
In the same way, I like the institution of school. I love the way a sharp pencil writes, I love school desks in rows, calm teachers, hallways with art in them, chalkboards, the smell of a new textbook, the way kids run into the schoolyard at recess, cafeterias, spelling bees, sweaty locker-rooms, bells, brick buildings. I value the "schooliness" of school. I think it's a tradition that is worthwhile and supports the act of learning. I totally recognize it is not *learning* in itself. But I do think it's a relevant experience for children to have.
As for the sole provider of experiences -- I guess I wasn't clear. What I mean is that I'm a teacher (or I have been in the past), but I don't want to be a teacher (in a formal sense) for my kids. My partner is a doctor, but she isn't comfortable being their doctor. I believe that there are places in which my role as mom ends and another person's role begins. And for me, my momness and my teacherness don't need to mix.
That said, if my kids' experiences in school ever become horrible or unhealthy and no other option exists, I would certainly homeschool. It's just not an ideal option for me.